Episode 016: Why National Coming Out Day Rocks!

On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE.  The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C. Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.

To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly. (Source: HRC Website)

How We’re Celebrating…

This week on The Coming Out Lounge I have a line-up of out and proud individuals coming on the show to share their stories and themselves. These are individuals who are having huge impact in our world and the lives of gays, lesbians, heterosexuals, and society as a whole. They’ve taken the brave stance to say “This is me and take me or leave me.”



Salvatore Sapienza
Salvatore is the author of Gay is a GIFT and Seventy Times Seven, which was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards, including Best Spirituality.

A former religious brother in the Catholic Church, Sapienza assisted in the formation of St. Francis AIDS Ministry under the guidance of Father Mychal Judge, the Saint of 9/11.  Sapienza’s latest book, Mychal’s Prayer, is an interfaith guide to the life and spirituality of Father Judge.

Sapienza has written feature stories for several newspapers and magazines across the country, and he has appeared locally on National Public Radio (NPR) and PBS.  He lives in Saugatuck, Michigan.


MidgeNewMidge Noble
Midge Noble is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is licensed in the state of North Carolina. She currently works in a private practice as a child/adolescent and family therapist. She has worked with children and families since 1986. She has worked as a school counselor, a counselor for terminally ill children and their families, and as a mental health counselor. Midge works extensively with children and families who have lived through abuse, neglect, loss, foster care, and adoption. Midge believes any trauma can be overcome by choosing happiness and by choosing to be a survivor and not a victim.

Midge has written two children’s books: SHEBA: Home Is Where Your Heart Is and ICE CUBE AWARD:  Learning To Be Cool Under Pressure. 

Midge also hosts a weekly national radio show on Toginet called Second Chances which airs every Thursday night at 9pmEST. Midge lives in North Carolina with her family which includes her partner of 29 years and their “four legged” kids. Her favorite activities include hiking and camping in the mountains with her family


Cameron_NewCameron Gantt
Lets face it, finding love can be hard. Many of us work hectic schedules, have grown tired of the bar scene or simply just may not be up-to-date on our methods of flirtation. Enter J. Cameron…the founder and CEO of Insti(Gay)tor, a variety membership-based service that can not only help you target your search for love, but also provide a safe and exciting alternative to the usual.

He’s been coaching for about 10 years now, with a 2 year concentration on dating and relationships. His clients often refer to him as “Mr. Fix It” and often compliment him on his ability to see the big picture. He’s all about strategy so once the issue is isolated, then he works with clients on a one-on-one basis to develop a results oriented game plan and from there… It’s time for action and accountability

Cameron’s first book is due out this Fall and is entitled “The Total Knock Out: The Gay Man’s Guide to Dating Like A Champ!” and launching a web talk show with the hopes of helping millions of gay singles jump-start their love life.

Celebrate with us as we take you to the other side of the closet door where living out and proud is just one part of who we are as human beings. Plus, tune in for a special offer from Coming Out Coach Rick.


KarenNewKaren Sullivan
As a seasoned law enforcement professional, Chief (Ret.) Karen Sullivan has over 25 years of law enforcement experience, most recently as Chief of Police in Monmouth County, NJ.

Without a doubt, Karen has a knack for motivating and empowering people, while assisting them in setting high standards, and a demonstrated track record of providing highly energetic and motivational leadership – with great results. Karen works with leaders by fostering intrinsic motivation, empowerment, and assisting in setting high standards, and achieving goals with confidence.

As a Certified Professional Leadership and Executive Coach, strengthened by her Masters in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall University, Karen is well-positioned to bring coaching skills to Law Enforcement leaders, giving them the tools they need to achieve their personal and professional goals, and take their agencies to the next level. Karen is an Affiliate Faculty Member of UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) in Resilient Leadership and a peer counselor at Cop2Cop a helpline for Police Officers and their families in NJ.


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